Investigating the U.S. Conscience


In the Name of God, the Kind, the Beautiful

Thanks be to the Precious Beloved, I was asked (and accepted) to contribute to the blog at the Interfaith Youth Core, the organization run by my great friend Eboo Patel. Here is my first post:

Undeterred by the myriad of protests, editorials, press conferences, letters from his colleagues, and national call-ins to his office, NY Rep. Peter King, Chair of the House Homeland Security Committee, will proceed with his hearing on the radicalization of American Muslims. Despite facts to the opposite, Rep. King continues to assert that, in his words, “There is a real threat to the country from the Muslim community, and the only way to get to the bottom of it is to investigate what is happening.”

It is eerily reminiscent of the McCarthy hearings, where Wisconsin Senator Joseph McCarthy was looking for Communists in every corner. Singling out the Muslim community, as if it is the only source of the extremist threat against the United States, does little to make our great nation any safer. Rather, it seeks to divide our country along religious and ethnic lines, fostering the very division and hatred that our terrorist enemies, such as Al Qaeda, would love to see happen in the United States.

The growing cries of protest and discomfort from many segments of our society, including the Obama Administration, is heartening.

Yet, people of faith must also add their voices to the mix. It may be Muslims today, but it will be another group tomorrow, and as people of faith, we cannot stand aside and watch the demonization of a group of Americans for no other reason than they choose to practice Islam as their faith, which is a fundamental right in America.

All of our faith traditions call to do good and resist evil. All of our faith traditions decry the discrimination against people for who they are. All of our faith traditions call for us to be good neighbors to one another, and this hearing is anything but neighborly. It is ungodly and quintessentially un-American. People of faith should lead the vanguard against such hate- and fear-mongering.

Although it is very unsettling to see, I know that our country will survive the King hearings, and I have faith that the Muslim community will only become stronger. There are some who are consumed by their hatred of anything that is unlike them, including some Muslims, but they are a tiny, tiny minority. The overwhelming majority of people have good hearts, and they will not stand for such an affront to all that is dear to us as a people. It seems that Rep. King wants to divide us and make us fear one another. All of us must stand up and resist his aim.

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2 thoughts on “Investigating the U.S. Conscience

  1. I cannot fathom what these hearings are supposed to accomplish. Why is this not a hearing on “Radicalism” in all forms. Radical behavior whether it is John Loughner, a mafia don or a mentally brainwashed person claiming religious ties, is what causes problems. Why are Muslims being singled out like the religion is facilitating violence and extremism.

  2. “What really increases terrorist recruitment is invading Muslim countries, killing Muslims there, and staying to try to build Western democracies,” – Andy McCarthy, saying something you don’t often see in National Review

    When even Andy McCarthy gets it, the rest of you are a wee bit behind the curve.

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